Ask me about my driving test
It began in Legoland. Aged nine, I queued for ages to get on a racetrack and spend five minutes speeding around in a colourful vehicle. Ideal.
Except that, about thirty seconds into the experience, I crashed into a wall and couldn’t work out how to reverse.
I spent the remainder of the ride totally still - embarrassed, insecure and envying everyone else’s freedom.
And so began my experience of learning to drive
Since then, I’ve spent many hours (and pounds) trying to feel differently in cars.
Despite encouragement from instructors, developing skill and passing the theory test, my lack of confidence has continued - maybe this is something I just can’t do?
But this November, I took my first test. It was fine, until I knew I’d made a major fault and hadn’t passed.
Knowing I’d failed, further errors felt painfully visible, my fear grew and my confidence disappeared.
I felt like I’d been exposed as the driver I’d always feared myself to be.
Yesterday, I failed again. But this time was different.
As the examiner marked his green sheet, the Lord was reminding me that because of Jesus, I can never, ever, be judged as the spiritual failure I often fear myself to be (Romans 8:1).
I can’t stain the unmarked green sheet of Jesus’ life which God sees as mine. Because of him, I don’t have permission to think my sin outruns God’s mercy or my mistakes outweigh his love (Romans 5:20).
It was hugely freeing.
My next test is on the 17 January. And I want you to ask me how it’s gone.
Because if I fail, it doesn’t really matter. I’m free to fail and not be crushed, because he loves me.
And because he loved me to death, my failure will never be counted against me.